Hepatitis B Genotypes Correlate With Clinical Outcomes in Patients With Chronic Hepatitis B 

GASTROENTEROLOGY 2000;118:554-559
*Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, Hepatitis Research Center, and Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University College of Medicine and National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan 

Background & Aims: 
Six genotypes (A-F) of hepatitis B virus (HBV) have been identified; however, the genotype-related differences in the pathogenicity of HBV remain unknown.Therefore, we investigated the prevalence of HBV genotypes in Taiwan and the association between distinct genotypes and severity of liver disease in a cross-sectional study. 


Using a molecular method, HBV genotypes were determined in 100 asymptomatic carriers and in 170 patients with histologically verified chronic liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).


All genotypes except genotype E were identified in Taiwan, and genotypes B and C were predominant. Genotype C was prevalent in patients with cirrhosis and in those with HCC who were older than 50 years compared with age-matched asymptomatic carriers (60% vs. 23%, P < 0.001, and 41% vs. 15%, P = 0.005, respectively). Genotype B was significantly more common in patients with HCC aged less than 50 years compared with age-matched asymptomatic carriers (80% vs. 52%, P = 0.03). This predominance was more marked in younger patientswith HCC (90% in those aged 35 years), most of whom did not have cirrhosis. 

Our data suggest that HBV genotype C is associated with more severe liver disease and genotype B may be associated with the development of HCC in young Taiwanese. However, additional large-scale longitudinal studies are needed to confirm the relationship of HBV genotypes to liver disease severity and clinical outcomes.